Placement profiles: face-to-face patient contact

These profiles highlight innovative student placements primarily involving direct face-to-face contact with patients.  

A research and critical care placement, Kent

Georgia Loft split her time between clinical practice and research while working on critical care and surgical wards with her educator Dr Sarah Elliott, a Consultant Physiotherapist.

Brighton University student Georgia Loft and Dr Sarah Elliott of Medway Maritime Hospital
Georgia Loft and Dr Sarah Elliott

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Who was involved? Georgia Loft, Brighton University Physiotherapy student and Dr Sarah Elliott, a Consultant Physiotherapist, Medway Maritime Hospital.

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A blended placement of virtual learning and on ward experience, Yorkshire

Physiotherapist and AHP Clinical Educator Rachel Slusarczyk supported students with face-to-face, virtual and self-directed learning.

Rachael Slusarczyk, Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals
Rachael Slusarczyk

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Who was involved? Rachael Slusarczyk, Physiotherapist and AHP Clinical Educator, Doncaster and Bassetlaw NHS Teaching Hospitals

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A clinical research placement within an acute hospital trust, Leicester

Hannah Young and Heather MacKinnon believe strongly in the importance of basing clinical practice on thorough, well-researched evidence. As part of that integrated approach, they have set up a clinical research placement for pre-registration physios in the UK.

Heather MacKinnon, Prehab project  manager
Heather MacKinnon
Hannah Young, Specialist Renal  Research  Physiotherapist
Hannah Young

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Who was involved? Hannah Young, Specialist Renal Research Physiotherapist and Heather MacKinnon, Prehab project manager, Leicester Kidney Lifestyle Team, University Hospitals of Leicester

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A placement with an independent charity providing specialist neurological treatment, Essex

Mary Joy, a Physiotherapy team lead supported students on placement treating patients with complex neurological and physical disabilities.

Mary Joy, Acting Physiotherapy Team Lead
Mary Joy

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Who was involved? Mary Joy, Acting Physiotherapy Team Lead, The Marillac Neurological Care Centre

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A face-to-face placement that turned into a virtual experience, University of Essex

University of Essex student Amy Smith started a face-to face placement on an acute stroke ward. Due to self isolation she had to move onto a remote platform and adapt to a different working environment.

Amy Smith, Physiotherapy Student
Amy Smith

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Who was involved? Amy Smith, Student Physiotherapist, University of Essex

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Paediatric physiotherapy services from all Health Boards across Wales work together to facilitate a fantastic placement experience

Swansea Bay physiotherapists Helena Webb and Rebecca Kennedy created a new placement model including virtual education sessions led by paediatric specialists from all Welsh health boards to enhance student learning, ease pressure on educators and inspire the future workforce.

Helena Webb, Swansea Bay
Helena Webb

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Who was involved? Helena Webb and Rebecca Kennedy, Swansea Bay University Health Board

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Collaborative team approach to a community rehabilitation placement, Yorkshire

University of Bradford student Sam Evans worked across two community rehab sites, spending time with the whole multidisciplinary team to enhance his learning.

Sam Evans, University of Bradford
Sam Evans

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Who was involved? Sam Evans, student physiotherapist, University of Bradford

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Blending face-to-face contact with remote learning and project service evaluation in tertiary rehab, London

The Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals created a multidisciplinary, flexible, whole-team approach to a student placement, incorporating blended learning and service development to benefit all.

Heather Probert, Therapy Lead, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals
Heather Probert

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Who was involved? Heather Probert, Therapy Lead, Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals

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A 4:1 coaching placement in elderly rehab, Cumbria

Rotating across two acute rehab wards, students worked together to assess and treat patients, learned from each other, coached a team and completed a group service development project.

Adele Anderson Advanced Specialist Physiotherapist in Elderly Rehab and Frailty
Adele Anderson

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Who was involved? Adele Anderson, Advanced Specialist Physiotherapist in Elderly Rehabilitation and Frailty, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.

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'An MSK placement with a difference', Sussex

As part of a whole-team musculoskeletal (MSK) placement, student Luke Zubiena spent one day a week with Sally York in her First Contact Physiotherapy (FCP) clinics in primary care.

Sally York, physiotherapy and FCP professional lead, Sussex MSK Partnership Central
Sally York

Why was it innovative?

The advanced practitioners clearly demonstrated evidence of working within the education pillar whilst supporting practice based learning. The placement offered a unique insight into the management of MSK conditions from first contact to intermediary care and the different roles and skills of the team.

Who was involved?

  • Sally York, physiotherapy and FCP professional lead at Sussex MSK Partnership Central.
  • Luke Zubiena, a third-year student from the University of Brighton.

Top tips

  • Build in opportunities for inter-professional learning.
  • The variety of experiences gave a unique insight into the management of MSK conditions.
  • Having a taster of FCP within an MSK placement worked well.

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Incorporating non-clinical time to benefit all, Newcastle upon Tyne

Karen Caulfield restructured her placement offering within an acute paediatric setting to better suit the team by including a non-clinical day for the student to focus on project work.

Karen Caulfield, advanced paediatric practitioner, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Karen Caulfield

Why was it innovative?

As the majority of the team worked part-time, Karen thought flexibly and created a new placement structure to work better for them. The student had a day of non-clinical for project work which not only allowed for consolidation of their learning and presentation skills but also created a resource that the department will continue to use and resulted in less pressure on the clinical team.

Who was involved?

  • Karen Caulfield, advanced paediatric practitioner, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Top tips

  • Planning ahead and setting clear objectives can keep everyone on track.
  • Go for it – it was a risk that paid off.

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Support workers playing a key role in student learning, Dudley

From offering high standards of supervision to creating a friendly space, Lorraine Allchurch explains the benefits of support workers being very much involved in a whole-team placement experience.

Support worker Lorraine Allchurch

Why was it innovative?

This profile showcases a support worker’s role and value in practice-based learning. With clear consideration to what and how support staff can contribute within their scope of practice, Lorraine explains the benefits this has brought to students, educators and the support workforce, boosting placement capacity and quality.

Who was involved?

  • Lorraine Allchurch, assistant therapy practitioner/lead AHP support worker, the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

Top Tips

  • Involve all members of the team.
  • Have clear boundaries and learning expectations for both the student and the support worker.
  • Provide formal opportunities for the support worker to give valuable feedback.

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